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The Trajectory of Dreams

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  152 ratings  ·  51 reviews
THE TRAJECTORY OF DREAMS, chosen as #15 on Typographical Era's Best Reads of 2013.

It begins with an explosion. Lela White's life hasn't been the same since the space shuttle disintegrated into a bright blue sky when she was a ten year old girl. Since her mother disappeared without a word or explanation. Years later, the world has moved on, but Lela hasn't.

Her precisely-ord
Paperback, 285 pages
Published March 2013 by Bitingduck Press (first published February 28th 2013)
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Average rating 3.95  · 
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L.V. Lewis
Mar 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
A psychological thriller that is an excellent study of a woman's mental illness caused by genetics and a tragedy witnessed in childhood. This is a story unlike any other. You will not be disappointed. ...more
John Hancock
Jan 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
First of all, I want to say that I'm mad at Nicole Wolverton for writing this book. You say "anger is an ok emotion, but why?" You'll find out why after I'm done. Really, really you should be mad at the author, too. I'll give you a why.

I mean, well….never mind. Let me just review this book.

This is a masterfully written piece of work right here. Ever heard the term "a half bubble off"? It refers to someone on the edge of what society considers sane. On. The. Edge.
That is Lela, the sleep researche
Mary Rugg Courtney
May 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book was a rollercoaster of crazy. It was disturbing, unpredictable, and thought provoking. I loved it. I finished reading it several months ago, but every once in a while thoughts of it come back to haunt me, so it's about time to write a review. Really, it's 4.5, maybe 4.75 stars.

I was a child when the space shuttle Challenger exploded. On board was Christa McAuliffe, a high school teacher who was set to become the first ordinary American citizen to go into space. I was excited; my entire
Jan 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: to-review, 4

Oh my goodness this is a real mind boggling book…am I sane? I don’t know anymore, I do seem to live in my head quite a bit, or do I? Is this reality? Wow I’m confused!! This book had my head in a spin. A warning for readers, don’t let anything distract you while you read or you will totally lose the plot…literally!!

‘The Trajectory of Dreams’ probably has one of the most complicated/intricate plots I have read of late. It demanded my full attention and did not let up. I had to use all of my conce
Nov 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
Wow. Just when you think you've gotten to the bottom of the crazy, you find the crazy underground garage. Really impressed that this is the author's first novel. I hope she writes more books. 4.5 stars. This is a perfect book for those who loved Gone Girl. I'd love to see this made into a movie. Rosamund Pike would be perfect as Lela. ...more
Nov 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Wow. This is definitely one of the most chilling, disturbing, thought-provoking books I've read this year. Sincere props to Nicole Wolverton on that.

Even now, that I've been finished for a few days, I'm not quite sure how I feel about Lela White. Lela is a sleep lab technician who has been obsessed with the U.S. space program since she was 10 years old, when her mother confessed to her that she was responsible for blowing up the shuttle. Lela is as brilliant as she is mad, and she uses all of he
The Readers Cafe
Jan 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed-by-amy
I was invited to read and review The Trajectory of Dreams (Due out March 1.2013) by Ms. Wolverton herself. I accepted immediately, whereas I usually offer a book review to all our reviewers, I kept this one to myself because the author is local to me. I’m not far from Philadelphia and Ms. Wolverton is a Philadelphian herself. I jumped at the chance to support a local writer.

Trajectory is Ms. Wolverton’s first published novel and I have to say… bravo. In conversations with the author she shared w
Mar 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely blown away. This book confronts you with a woman who has inherited a psychosis from her mother. She believes she must watch astronauts sleep in order to keep them alive. This includes breaking in their homes and planning their deaths if they are not able to sleep well. The dread and fear you feel as she slowly loses control of her facade of sanity is alarming. You pity the kind people who are deceived by her careful acting, just as you pity Lela for not understanding her friends and t ...more
Joshua Feierman
May 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I don't know many authors who could turn the main character in this book into such a sympathetic one, which Wolverton does masterfully. It's an engaging and quick read. Let's just say the author's portrayal of mental illness is so stunning that I might fear for her own sanity! I certainly will look forward to her other books. ...more
Sep 28, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had the pleasure of meeting the author at our restaurant one evening and she spoke a bit about her novel. It sounded fascinating, and I'm pleased that it turned out to be. Quite different from my usual reading material, let's just say it's a radically unusual viewpoint for the narrator/protagonist of the story. To say more would be to give the plot away. ...more
Beverlyn Elliott
Mar 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I will always remember where I was when the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded shortly after take-off in 1986. I was working for the State of MS in a new prison they were opening in Rankin County, in the prison’s Firehouse, to be exact because our offices were not yet ready for occupation. We all sat around in disbelief, thinking “This isn’t real. How on earth could we allow this to happen?”

I was twenty-six when I witnessed this tragedy and I grieved over it for weeks. I kept seeing the explosio
Feb 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
The Trajectory of Dreams is the story of Lela White, a woman with many dark secrets. By day, Lela works as a sleep lab technician, but by night she runs her own sleep studies on astronauts by breaking into their homes and watching them sleep. You see, Lela's mother claims responsibility for the last space shuttle explosion and Lela has been called upon by the Universe to make sure that never happens again. If she can just make sure the astronauts are able to sleep during takeoff, she knows her m ...more
Nov 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
WHOA. This book grabbed ahold of me from the first page and did not let go. It is a crazy, imaginative and completely original story. I have never met a character like Lela before. She’s an unreliable narrator from the beginning, but exactly how unreliable is not certain, as the story is told from Lela’s point of view and despite the fact that she is obviously insane (I mean CRAZYPANTS insane), as a reader I couldn’t help but feel sympathetic towards her to a certain extent. She’s a woman who ha ...more
Rebecca Scaglione
Dec 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
Talk about a crazy book! When Nicole Wolverton emailed me about her novel, The Trajectory of Dreams, it sounded intriguing, especially because she likened it to Gone Girl. I was pretty excited to read it.

The Trajectory of Dreams is a novel about Lela, a woman who will do everything in her power in order to save the upcoming space shuttle launches from disaster. Lela works at a sleep study clinic, volunteers at the local library, and sneaks into astronaut’s houses in order to secretly study their
Nov 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The Trajectory of Dreams focuses on Lela White, a hard working woman whose main goal in life is to protect all the astronauts while in space. She believes by studying the sleep patterns of astronauts, she is helping NASA to achieve a successful program for all their space missions. When Zory Korchagin, a Russian cosmonaut, sees Lela for the first time, he immediately falls in love with her. Something his grandmother has predicted before going to the U.S. for NASA's space program. I loved Zory. H ...more
Eleanor (The Book Hammock)
Sep 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
Let me start by saying I really enjoyed this book.

That said, this is not my favorite genre. Having read Nicole's work before and loving her writing made me decide to want to read this book.

Lela, a woman in her early 30s, is for lack of a better word - complex. I'm sure there are many psychological terms that can describe her, and I have a few in mind, but I'll refrain, for fear of spoiling the story. Lela is fighting many internal and external battles, working as a sleep lab tech (or is she?) a
Dec 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book was well written. It's told in the first person from the vantage point of a woman with a serious psychotic mental disorder who doesn't know she has any problem. It's not revealed specifically what her diagnosis is even at the end. I found that it added to the intrigue of the book. I have my own guesses as to what is wrong with her but I won't ruin it for everyone by naming them here. It was certainly a sort of emotional ride. One minute, I thought maybe this will end well and she (the ...more
Jan 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
Read my full review @

4.5/5 Stars

My opinion: I think this would definitely be my winner of the 2012 Most Unusual Book I read and not in a good way.

This book was one of those books, while not scary, is just downright creepy. Ms. Wolverton takes the story of a sociopath, probably on her way to being a female serial killer, and twists it into what people fear the most...being stalked when they are at their most vulnerable...while they are sleeping.

Furthermore, we are given ins
Suzanne Earley
Nov 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Right from the get-go, the extremely unreliable narrator, Lela, is clearly NOT RIGHT -- and I kept turning page after page, following her descent, finding myself worried for my own sanity. What was real? What wasn't? I thought I knew, and was fooled several times.

The explosion of the Challenger was a moment that I remember pretty clearly from when I was in 8th grade (ironically, the age of my own boys), and I know that many people were affected by the disaster -- but not quite in the same way a
Annabelle Blume
Jun 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Whoa. This book is intense, exhausting, and absolutely brilliant.

I am usually a fast reader, devouring a book in a day or two, but ToD is so heavy, so much to digest, that I read it in small chunks until I was done.

Seeing the world through Lela's lens creates a bone-crushing fatigue. My brain could only handle living in her world in small increments. But that's the true mark of genius writing, is it not? To feel everything in the book as if it were happening to you.

I will say the last 1/4 of t
Althea J.
Aug 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
I finished this book a couple weeks ago and am still digesting it, thinking about it. I went on this ride of this unreliable narrator, seeing the world through her crazy eyes. I enjoyed trying to figure out what was real and what was entirely her construction. I found a lot of really dark humor throughout the story, whether it was meant to be humorous or not. For example, in how she'd see nefarious intentions behind every one of her colleague's smiles. By the end I was a bit uneasy with how much ...more
Karli Vincent
Jan 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
The Trajectory of Dreams is a subtle, but haunting (and often darkly humorous) psychological thriller that slowly, unnervingly forces you to reconsider your own relationships. And as cliche as it sounds, it will make you wonder if you can ever really trust or know anyone. After all, social behavioral patterns are learned, not inherent, and even the homicidal, mentally ill members of society can emulate these patterns flawlessly. But sometimes, all it takes is one crack for the foundation of the ...more
Amy Holiday
Jun 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: re-post
This was one of the most intense books I've read in a long time. I could only read a little at a time; sort of out of my usual comfort zone. But it was masterfully written; I completely empathized with the protagonist, had a crush on her boyfriend and hated her unwanted roommate, even as her plans baffled and horrified me. I think I held my breath through the entire last third!

Saw the author speak at an event sponsored by the South Jersey Writers' Group and was intrigued by the concept. Glad I
Kelly Lamb
Nov 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Completely absorbing psychological thriller. It replicates that disturbing, sinister atmosphere of Gone Girl, with a plot and characters that are all its own. I had some issues with the side characters, otherwise this would have been a 5-star for me. As it is, it's still easily a 4.5. 4.75? Goodreads, I need more options. (link active 3/10/13) ...more
May 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I've been a fan of Nicole's blogs for years, and I was very excited to finally read "The Trajectory of Dreams". It was fantastic, enthralling, and heartbreaking. I will say one of my very favorite lines is when Lela orders a Coke in a dive, and the waitress says "What kind?". That is such a Southern happening, and I loved that touch. Even if Houston is really the Pit of Despair and not really the South to me. ;)

I'm recommending this to everyone, and I know it will be on my reread list. :)
Apr 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, 2013
The Trajectory of Dreams is crazy disturbing, but crazy good. Crazy seems to be the key work, because each page paints a wickedly spinning vortex into deep psychosis. Great debut!! Grab your DSM III and have a good ride!
Dec 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
I may have given this an extra star because I know (knew, online) the author, and it's pretty cool to read a novel written by someone familiar to you, but I also enjoyed the read, especially the uncomfortable aspect of being in the head of an unreliable (psychotic) narrator. ...more
Oct 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I could not put this book down. I need more of my friends to read it so we can discuss it as my cat is not as insightful as the one in the book.
Nov 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
Wow! I absolutely loved it.
Amy (DemonKittie)
Jan 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
*This book was won from a First Reads giveaway on*
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Nicole Wolverton is the author of the novel THE TRAJECTORY OF DREAMS (adult literary thriller), and her short fiction has been published in various magazines, including Aji Magazine, the Jersey Devil Press, as well as in anthologies such as Coffin Blossoms (Jolly Horror Press) and Slashertorte (Sliced Up Press). A new short story is forthcoming in The Half That You Don't See anthology (Dark In ...more

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